First time hiking the chute rouge trails, we didn’t get very far. About 400m in to be precise. The longer paths were still overgrown and not well marked so we followed the short-and-sweet trail down to the waterfalls that sits between the two lakes. We could have continued of course, but it was much more fun to just jump right in and enjoy the ‘swimming hole’ at the base of the falls. You know, #yolo and all that.
The Low Down
- Address: Google “lac la veille” in ‘sainte-thérèse-de-la-gatineau’ to give an idea. Chutes Rouge is between Lac la Veille and Petit Lac Ronde.
- Directions: From Chemin Principal in Sainte-Thérèse-de-la-Gatineau, turn on to Chemin du lac Michel, and follow the signs for ‘chutes rouge’. Don’t miss the last sign at Rue de Cerf! The parking lot and trailhead is near the end of Rue de Cerf.
- GPS Coord: 46.2935 N, -75.8611 W
- Cell Reception: Yes
- Trail Distance: Approx. 300m to 2kms (4 different trail options)
- Elevation Gain: 0-20m.
- Duration: 20mins – 2hrs, trail dependent.
- Dogs: Yes, on leash only.
- Crowds: Light traffic.
- Washrooms: Outhouse onsite.
- Entrance Fee: Free.
- Season: All year.
- More Information: Visit Pero Outaouais for more information including trail maps.
In Good Company
The first hike was with my then fellow nursing student and adventure buddy Davianna. We’ve since hiked a few of the bigger ones around like Oiseau Rock and Rock Dunder, followed by some epic hikes in Norway like Jotunheimen Park. Orignally, we decided not to share this hike and keep it to ourselves for a little while, because really, gorgeous places sometimes get ruined by the ‘instagram effect’. #truth
Two years later while adventuring with my incredible mother, I’m oh so happy to report that the trails wonderfully maintained by Pero Outaouais and well marked! More than ready for everyone to enjoy and a wonderful area for nature lovers to explore.
What to bring
Besides the 10 essentials and what I would normally suggest for hikes, here are the highlights for this particular hike:
- Picnic: This would be a great spot to picnic or enjoy a coffee by the water…just make sure to hike out everything you hike in.
- Bug Spray: In the summer especially, the shoulder seasons aren’t bad at all.
Parking and Trailhead
There’s a small parking “lot” near the two trailheads. It is indicated by a large map of the area and across from the new Pero Outaouais trail map. There is enough room for perhaps 6 vehicles, although not to worry, this is not a heavily trafficked hiking trail. There is also additional parking further down the road near the camping sites.
Driving into the area, you’ll have the chute rouge trailhead on the left, and the ‘le bond’ trailhead on the right (where you park).
Chute Rouge Trails
There are plenty of options on this trail system, ranging from a few hundred metres (to see the waterfalls) to over 10kms if you joined some of the trails together for an epic hike.
There was a little bit of a time crunch for myself, so I stuck to the Chute Rouge and Le Bond trails. Next time I’ll explore the remainder! Which is part of the fun isn’t? Always having something new to come back to discover, whether is a different trail or a different season. 🙂
Note: You you have two vehicles, you can hike the approximately 4km route from the White Tailed Deer Interpretation Centre to Chute Rouge and then continue exploring the area from there.
Pro Tip: Make sure you wear covered footwear (aka not sandals) and do not wander off trail. First of all, Pero Outaouais and the local area is very much geared towards protecting the environment. Wandering off trail destroys precious flora and effects the ecosystem in place. Secondly, if that doesn’t move you to stay on trail, this should – there is plenty of poison ivy in the area. Cool. Stay on the marked trails. 🙂
Points of Interest
There are two lookouts, one on the Chute Rouge trail and the other on the Le Regalis trail. Both lookouts overlook the lake and boast a wonderful landscape in the fall.
The highlight of the area are the waterfalls of course! Chute Rouge is nestled between ‘lac de la veille’ and ‘petit lac round’. There’s a beautiful new covered platform for everyone to enjoy the waterfalls from and a new bridge across the water leading to the Chute Rouge, Le Regalis, Lac Lefebvre, and Traverse Est trails.
If there is one thing that the vallee-de-la-Gatineau is gifted with – it is all-the-lake-views. Something that I love to enjoy on hiking trails, and that for some reason, immediately feels grounding. #wellnessandwilderness
Wrapping it up
The secret is out! Chute Rouge is only 1.5 hrs (ish) from Ottawa are wonderful, incredible trails full of highlights like this one. I mean really, who likes waterfalls and wildlife?! **handsraised** Grab your hikers and some friends because ’tis the season to get outside. Well, apparently it’s PSL season, but heck, just order that latte to go (using a reusable coffee cup) and bring it with you.